Why Sit Ups Won’t Fix Abdominal Separation or Flatten Your Stomach
If you’re prone to storing weight around your midsection; you’ve had a baby recently; you’re desperate to get rid of your ‘mummy tummy’; and/or, despite every attempt at exercise, that pesky section of fat under your belly button is still there, we are here to help.
Today, we reveal the truth about the fitness industry’s most popular abdominal exercise, and why it’s so ineffective at toning that mummy muffin top and more importantly, why it’s not appropriate for new mums or anyone presenting with abdominal separation.
Education’s vital, particularly if you’re in the postnatal period, and the more knowledge you gain about the changes your body went through during pregnancy, the clearer this issue will become to you now.
1. Targeting the wrong area
Firstly, I’d like you to think about where you store fat around your midsection. Is it above or below the belly button? Generally speaking, it’s often above the navel where that stubborn duvet of fat lingers, isn’t it? You know that annoying roll of fat like a spare tyre that’s showing no signs of shifting?
2. Ineffective muscle contraction
Next, have a think about whereabouts in your abdominal area you ‘feel’ a sit up working? Is it the muscles above, or below the umbilicus? That’s right – it’s above, isn’t it? So, when you do a sit up, it’s actually targeting the wrong muscles, which we’ve established are located below, not above the belly button. Are you with me so far? If you’re a new mum with abdominal separation of 2-finger widths or more and you do a ‘sit up’, I’m here to tell you that you’ll only make that ‘gap’ worse by widening it.
3. Bad for posture
Sitting is the new smoking or that is what we read in the news a lot. The reality is the majority of us sit down for most of our working day. Think about the position your spine/shoulders are in during this position. Is your spine straight, your shoulders down and your neck supported, or is your spine bent slightly forward, your shoulders hunched and rounded and your chin poked out in front of you? Now visualise the position your body is in during a sit up. That’s correct: your spine is flexed forward, your shoulders are rounded, maybe your elbows are pulled in and your chin is pulled down towards the chest. Why would we suggest people do sit ups if all they do all day is sit down in a forward-flexed, hunched forward position with a chin poke? Doing endless amounts of sit ups can and most will exacerbate this posture and again make that abdominal separation gap even wider.
4. Can make back pain worse
Suffer with a bad back? Well, you guessed it, doing sit ups won’t help this situation. Pilates-based exercise along side a whole body approach is the best thing to do if you have a dodgy back, poor alignment or sit down all day. For get on the spot treatment, think full body approach. Pilates works the deep internal muscles of the abdomen which helps tone the tummy, eradicate back pain and releases tension. Doing sit ups won’t help you in this department one iota, I’m afraid.
5. Abs are made in the kitchen
And finally, if you’re eating processed, unhealthy, high sugar and salty foods, then that muffin top is there to stay. Effective fat loss is 80% nutrition, and 20% exercise. So, if you’re not cooking from scratch using fresh, good quality ingredients, but instead eating microwave or ‘on-the-go’ convenience meals, this will certainly be attributing to your weight gain.
So, there you have it, our 5 reasons why doing endless sit ups will NOT, get you a toned tummy, and why they’re totally unsuitable for postnatal women presenting with abdominal separation.
As mentioned earlier, a whole-body, ‘everything working as one’, proper unit-type system…
….That gets results!
If you suspect you may have abdominal separation, don’t worry. Sam is more than happy to help.
To investigate further book a 1-2-1 individualised session with Sam at The View Studio, where she will get you assessed and get your body back on the road to recovery.